Swindon & Wiltshire Business News

French trip is a plumb job for award-winning couple

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John and Debbie Williams of John Williams Heating ServicesThe owners of Wiltshire’s coveted Enterprising Business of the Year award are travelling to northern France this week as part of a Wiltshire delegation to share good practice around recruitment and retention of employees.

Debbie and John Williams, who employ 14 people at Chippenham-based John Williams Heating Services, have been asked to give a presentation at the event titled, ‘The best practice for integration of new employees in businesses across France and the UK’.

They will be talking about their experiences of recruitment over a decade.

John and Debbie will among several speakers during the conference at Grand Pré à Langueux, la Baie de Saint-Brieuc in Britanny. A third Wiltshire entrepreneur, Alison Edgar, managing director of Sales Coaching Solutions Ltd, will also be attending.

The cross-border event is part of Wiltshire Council’s Project IMPRESS - Innovative and Meaningful Post Recruitment Employment Support Services.

It’s an initiative offering support and skills development for anyone aged 16 or over in Wiltshire who have recently returned to work after six months or more of unemployment or who are new to the workforce. It also offers support to businesses to assist them with HR practices, in particular around recruitment and staff retention.

The initiative is part of a wider project which will be delivered in parts of southern England and northern France. It’s funded through a grant from the European Union’s INTERREG IVA Channel Programme as well as Wiltshire Council’s Action for Wiltshire programme.

John said: “We’re honoured to be asked to go to France and to speak at this event. It’s good to know that Wiltshire-based businesses can be heard overseas and it will also allow both of us to get to know other entrepreneurs and companies operating in a different environment.”

John Williams Heating Services, has a bespoke office suite on the Bumpers Farm Industrial Estate in Chippenham. The company ethos is to provide excellent and reliable customer service. Of its team of engineers, three are apprentices who are learning their trade alongside experienced mentors.

Services offered include all aspects of plumbing from changing a washer tap to a full design and installation service; heating services including LPG gas, oil and renewables; domestic and commercial maintenance and servicing of heating; and a range of high quality products, such as fireplaces and electric or gas fires, to suit a range of budgets.